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Etiquette for Planners: What to Do at the Wedding

When it comes to wedding planning, you’re a seasoned veteran. You’ll be there to keep things running smoothly on the wedding day—no bride wants to deal with problematic wedding guests and vending disasters on her special day! If something goes awry, we can bet that you’re right there to clean up the mess. But what if there’s some down time?

As a wedding planner, you’re there to help coordinate all the vendors and entertainers the day-of so that everything runs smoothly. At the end of the day, you are hired for your wedding leadership know-how, but this doesn’t mean you have to act super serious or robotic when guests try to interact with you. You are allowed to bask in the glory of the beautiful wedding that you put together—just make sure that you don’t slack off when you’re called into action!

Cocktail hour

cocktail hour

You are able to get a drink or two at the bar so long as it’s non-alcoholic. While it may not seem like a big deal at the beginning, when everyone slowly drinks more and more throughout the night, they’ll need someone sober to be able to handle any potential issues that may arise. You can taste an appetizer or two (remember, those hors d’oeuvres aren’t for you!), and mingle just a bit, but you don’t want to end up in a heated debate when you may be called to help fix a situation with the vendors at a moment’s notice.

Interacting with guests

wedding planner interacting with guests

Just because you’re there for business doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself! But remember—being at the wedding doesn’t make you a wedding guest, so you shouldn’t behave like one! There may be an open bar at the event, but that doesn’t give you a free pass to sling back shots with Uncle Stu.

Be polite when interacting with guests, and always respond enthusiastically if they’re inquiring about your services. This isn’t a networking event, so don’t go handing out business cards when everyone is eating, but do answer any questions anyone might have. Being a professional not only means getting things done, but also fostering good relationships with your client and any other inquiring minds.

Where / when to eat

when to eat

A catered meal during the wedding is usually included in the contract for any vendor who’ll be there for a long time—and that definitely includes you! These meals should be added to the catering order ahead of time so that you and the rest of the vendors aren’t eating into meals reserved for guests. While you can expect a good meal, it might not be the same as the meals the actual wedding guests are being served—sometimes they have a special meal just for event staff.

The wedding planning staff, along with all the other vendors, eat last at the event. You don’t want the entertainers, caterers, planners, and whoever else is working on location to eat up all the fancy meals and then not have enough for the wedding guests! Sometimes food gets sent back, orders are wrong, or guests simply change their mind about the meal they initially ticked off when they RSVP’d. Always expect the unexpected, and eat afterwards—behind the scenes—with the rest of the vendors.

What to wear?

what to wear on wedding day

This should go without saying, but dress professionally! You are there to provide your professional expertise, so you aren’t realty supposed to stand out from the crowd when you’re working. You shouldn’t wear something that matches up too closely with the wedding party—this can be awkward at best, or unleash the bridezilla (or groomzilla) at worst.

Professional attire obviously varies depending on the theme or the location the wedding. If this is a water-front beach wedding, it doesn’t make sense to wear a full-on black pantsuit with heels. Not only will you look out of place, but you’ll also likely be under sweltering heat from the beating sun all day. It’s best to keep it simple, and remember, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

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